Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Soaked Whole Wheat Flat Bread/ Tortillas

For a few months now we've been trying to do all of our bread products from scratch over here at the farm. We've also recently started soaking a number of our whole grain recipes in order to improve nutrition. And this simple recipe has become an almost weekly staple for us for making flat bread to go with hummus or rolled thinner for tortillas to make quesadillas.

On to the recipe!

Soaked Whole Wheat Flat bread/ Tortillas:

3 cups flour (any mixture of hard white and red wheat flours)

1 1/4 cup warm cultured buttermilk

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

12-24 hours before you want to cook the flat bread, combine flour, buttermilk, and oil in a bowl until a dough forms. Cover the bowl with a tight fitting plate or plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place in the kitchen for 12-24 hours. (Soaking is optional--just combine all ingredients and proceed as usual if deciding not to soak).

After soaking, add powder and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Divide the dough into 8 balls. One-by-one, flatten each ball into a disc and then roll out into a circle about 1/8 inch thick for flat bread, thinner for a tortilla.

In a lightly greased cast-iron (or other heavy bottom pan) over low heat, cook each piece of flat bread, flipping occasionally, until brown spots are forming on both sides. I don't want to give a time frame here because every pan will be different. Just don't rush it. It pays to cook a little longer over a lower heat so that you don't burn the bread.

Serve bread with your dip of choice, or allow bread to cool and store in a plastic zip-top bag for up to 5 days.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Martha, Martha..."

I seem to always have a favorite scripture for the different seasons of my life.

About two years ago, just as I was learning how to be a new mommy, one of our stake presidency members came to our ward for a visit. He spoke with the women about creating balance in their lives, a kind of balance that I was struggling to find (and still can be struggling to find some days!). However, his message was timely and what my little heart needed to hear, and the scripture that he used often echoes in my mind when things start to get a little crazy. He opened the New Testament to Luke 10 and read verses 41 and 42:

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

For me, those passages oozed with tenderness. It was as if I could hear Jesus saying, "Kimberlee" and then again, in an even softer and more loving, yet concerned, manner, "Kimberlee." At that moment I knew. I knew that dinner did not always need to be elaborate, the floor did not always need to be perfectly clean, my food storage menu plan did not need to be flawless, and I certainly did not need to feel depressed if my baby weight had not yet given up residence at various spots on my body. I, too, was "careful and troubled about many things." And I was letting those things get in the way of my happiness as a mother, my ability to be a good spouse, and my relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Something needed to change. I needed to more fully understand that "one needful thing."

Of course, as it so often does, the answer to my problems came back to what I already knew: I needed to be reading my scriptures more often and more diligently; I needed to be praying--always--and really listening to what my heart was told in return; I needed to be less critical of myself and others. I needed to just refocus, refrain, and remember that sitting at the feet of Christ will always be more important than the pile of laundry in my bedroom.

I wish I could say that I have been perfect at this principle since that day. Oh, I wish! But I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that helps me to turn back to this scripture every once in a while and remember what was in my heart that day. I am grateful for the atonement and the ability to be forgiven and try once again to be better. And I am oh-so-grateful that when I do stay on track my life is full of peace.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rhubarb Cake

Behold, the rhubarb plant!
When I see this sweet thing bubbling up out of the ground
in the early spring, I can't help but get a little giddy.
The winters are long, and our butternut squash has worn out its welcome.

Well, it just so happens that about the same time
the rhubarb is threatening to overflow its place in the crisper,
my littlest of my little ones has a birthday.
(hooray for springtime babies!)

Because my little Goose will eat nearly anything I put in front of her,
and because I had rhubarb to spare,
she, naturally, got a little concoction I like to simply call a
Rhubarb Cake
for her first birthday treat.
And I think she was pleased as punch!
But who doesn't like something covered in cream cheese frosting?

Rhubarb Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting:

For the Cake

(We recently started grinding our own flour--to save money and for freshness--hence, the flour types. But all-purpose and regular wheat flour will work just fine.)

1 cup hard white wheat flour
3/4 cup hard red wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar (or experiment with your sweetener of choice)
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
15 ounces stewed rhubarb (simply chop a handful of stalks, drizzle with a tablespoon or two of honey, and simmer on the stove until it breaks down to a juicy, soft mess. mmmmmmm)
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans. Sift together the dry ingredients, cut in the butter, and then fold in half of your stewed rhubarb (or 7.5 ounces). Beat this all together for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the rhubarb and eggs and beat another 2 minutes. Pour batter into greased pans, bake for 30-35 minutes (or until toothpick inserted comes out clean!--you know the drill), and allow to cool before frosting.

For the Frosting

2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
4 Tablespoons butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Tablespoon milk (more to thin, if necessary)
1 1/2-2 cups of powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if it seems to dry, more powdered sugar if it seems too wet. Then frost and stack those round, rhubarb-filled beauties.

This cake is tangy, spicy, and sweet--all at the same time. Hope you enjoy!

Let me start off by saying...

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! This is a true blessing in my life, and I am grateful for my faith. Although we're often called Mormons, that nickname neglects to mention Jesus Christ. And we DO believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. But more on my faith to come...

I also live on a beautiful piece of land that we affectionately call our "farm." I'm a novice gardener, goat-milker, and chicken keeper, but I am learning more with every season. I'm also the Mother and Homemaker of our acre of land, and I hold these titles with joy! I love to spend my time learning new things about the garden, healthy habits for my family, and doing as much in a natural or from scratch manner as possible (all within our budget, of course).

My hope for this blog is to have an outlet for my spiritual thoughts and a place to document my adventures as I continue this wonderfully down-to-earth life we are creating for ourselves.

So, without further ado, I welcome you to "Faith and a Farm"!